Tags: SDN & NFV

We know that Service Orchestration plays an important role in next-generation networking, but it’s also important to understand the three core components of the next-generation connectivity infrastructure in more detail.


SDN is a new open standards and vendor-neutral approach to computer networking that allows network operations personnel to manage network services through the abstraction of lower level functionality.

Benefits of SDN:

  1. SDN is directly programmable, as it decouples control from the forwarding plane. This enables operations to be dynamically controlled, giving network operators an unprecedented level of network service agility.
  2. SDN is centrally managed by SDN Controllers and programmatically configured by network managers using well-defined interfaces.

For more information on SDN, view the CENX Software-Defined Networking data sheet.

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

NFV leverages infrastructure virtualization technology to consolidate network equipment onto industry-standard servers and storage.

NFV is being used is to decouple hardware and software in traditional network equipment and provide Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) router functionality on a standardized, Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) server. This transition is being driven by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) Industry Specification Group for NFV (ISG NFV).

Benefits of NFV:

  1. By consolidating network equipment onto industry-standard servers and storage, network design becomes much more agile, and negates the classic problem of hardware-based appliances reaching end of life.
  2. It decreases capex by leveraging COTS servers as network infrastructure while powering agile, on-demand network design and implementation

Service Orchestration

Service Orchestration introduces end-to-end lifecycle management of advanced data services, powering automated service planning and fulfillment and service management and assurance tools that enable the migration to SDN/NFV infrastructure.

Service Orchestration is being developed and defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and plays a critical component of MEF’s vision of The Third Network, a Network as a Service (NaaS) infrastructure combining SDN, NFV, and Service Orchestration innovations.

Benefits of Service Orchestration:

  1. Provides service providers with agile, assured, and orchestrated advanced data services.
  2. It empowers the delivery of new, dynamic, on-demand services with Internet-like agility and Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0-like service performance.
  3. Delivers automated services across service provider networks, ensuring high quality experience in networks leveraging access vendor infrastructure, such as mobile backhaul.

Combining the 3 Core Components

Only by combining SDN, NFV, and Service Orchestration components can service providers achieve their goal of providing differentiated and quality-assured services to their customers while reducing capex and opex and simplifying network management.

To learn more about the three core components of the next-generation connectivity infrastructure in more detail, download the white paper, “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”.

SDN White Paper

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